News Releases

Weekly Missouri Basin flood response update for key stakeholders – 8/8

Northwestern Division
Published Aug. 8, 2019
Missouri River Water Management Monthly Update - Each month, from January through the end of the runoff season, Missouri River water managers and weather forecasters report the conditions of the Missouri River Basin.

Missouri River Water Management Monthly Update - Each month, from January through the end of the runoff season, Missouri River water managers and weather forecasters report the conditions of the Missouri River Basin.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency and water management officials held a call August 8 to communicate to Midwest Congressional representatives, Tribal, state and local government officials (including levee sponsors and emergency managers) an update of current runoff conditions, system storage and a status of flooding response and recovery activities.

A recording of that call can be accessed here:

It is also available via Podcast at:

All of the information provided on this call is accessible through the Missouri Basin “Web App.” The information at the links in the web app is the most up-to-date information from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Northwestern Division Response

Tom Brady, with Northwestern Division Readiness and Contingency Operations reported ongoing Phase 1 repairs, which include closing or repairing breaches where most infrastructure and population centers are at risk.

Water in the banks of the Missouri, Kansas, and Osage River Basins remain higher than average for this time of year and water still remains on the toes of many levee systems.

“Teams are gradually becoming able to access damaged levees to refine the assessment of damages to the 850 miles of impacted levees within the region,” said Brady.

Phase 2 repairs are focused on full repairs. Of the 181 requests for rehabilitation assistance submitted to the Kansas City and Omaha Districts, 63 project information reports have been approved. These reports support requests for funding for subsequent engineering and design efforts for final repairs.

The entire levee rehabilitation effort for the Missouri River Basin has been estimated at $1 billion with additional expenses expected as requests for assistance and damage assessments continue.

National Weather Service

Kevin Low from the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center, National Weather Service, provided an update on river stages along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

Rivers and tributaries in flood stage include:

  • Minor flooding on the Missouri River from Nebraska City, Nebraska to  St. Joseph, Missouri and from Napoleon, Missouri to Miami, Missouri
  • South Dakota: James River, Big Sioux River
  • Kansas: Big Blue River above Tuttle Creek Reservoir (backwater flooding)
  • Missouri: Osage River

Low said over the next seven days, thunderstorm activity is expected in Nebraska and Kansas over the weekend with rainfall amounts over 1 inch. A more organized system in the Dakotas will develop Sunday into Monday with averages up to two inches of rain.

The National Weather Service provides official river stage and weather forecasts.  Its website -- -- provides river observations and forecasts; weather observations and forecasts, and additional information including the spring flood outlook under items of seasonal interest. The Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division shares all release forecasts with the National Weather Service for incorporation into their forecast products.

Upper Missouri River System (above Sioux City, Iowa)

The Missouri River Water Management Division provided an update on the long-term monthly runoff and reservoir forecast issued on August 2. The updated annual runoff forecast is 52.9 million acre feet (MAF). System storage is currently 67.6 MAF, just below the exclusive flood control zone for the System.

Mike Swenson, from the Missouri River Water Management Division noted that system storage had declined by about 0.4 million acre feet (MAF) in the past week with 11.5 MAF currently stored in the system’s flood control zones.

Fort Peck reservoir is at 2245.8 feet down 0.6 feet in the last week. Garrison reservoir is at 1851.1 feet down 0.6 feet in the last week. Oahe reservoir is at 1616.8 down 0.2 feet in the last week.

Releases from Gavins Point Dam will remain at 70,000 cubic feet per second through the end of August to continue evacuating flood water.

Lower Missouri River Basin (Kansas and Osage River Reservoirs)

Eric Shumate, from the water management division in the Kansas City District provided an update on the status of the reservoirs on the Kansas River and the Osage River. This information is available on their website at:

As a whole, the four reservoirs in the Lower Kansas River Basin have 51% of their flood control storage occupied.

Storage at Milford, Perry, and Clinton reservoirs is up slightly from a week ago follow heavy rain in the region.

Conditions on the Osage River Basin are improving with 23% of their combined flood control storage occupied. Truman Reservoir currently has 25% of its flood control storage occupied, down from 35% last week. Releases from Truman dam are 48,000 cubic feet per second and will begin stepping down next week to a target release of 32,000 cfs by the August 16.

“There is forecast rainfall within the Osage River basin over the next 48 hours.  Where and when this rain falls may affect our release schedule at any of these reservoirs and timeline for reducing flows from Truman,” said Shumate.

Kansas City District Emergency Response

Jud Kneuvean, chief of emergency management from the Kansas City District provided an update on the status of flood response efforts and levee conditions. They keep this information updated on their website at:

To date, the Kansas City District levee rehab team has received a total 107 Requests for levee rehabilitation assistance,

19 have been approved to enter the engineering and design phase shortly.

“We have numerous damage assessments and project information reports in development. We submitted 11 for approval today,” said Kneuvean

The district continues to provide technical assistance and support pumping operations for several levee districts.

Temporary emergency repair contracts on Mill Creek Dike and Drainage District and the Big Tarkio Drainage District in Holt County, Missouri to close breaches on both levee systems were awarded in July. A joint site visit with the Corps and the contractor was conducted on July 29 and a Notice to Proceed issued July 30. Rock deliveries and placement to these northwestern Missouri towns will take approximately 10 weeks to complete.

Omaha District Emergency Response

Matt Krajewski, chief of the Readiness Branch for the Omaha District provided an update on the status of post flood levee inspections and rehabilitation. To date, the district has completed 10 initial breach closures within the Omaha District’s area of operations, with 39 remaining.

“Yesterday, we awarded a $10.3 million contract to repair levee systems R616-613 and R613 south of Offutt Air Force Base. The R616-613 system starts on the Missouri River at Highway 370 and follows the river to the mouth of the Papillion Creek, then turning and going up the north bank of Papillion Creek to Capehart Road. The R-613 levee system starts slightly downstream on the Papillion Creek following the south bank to the confluence with the Missouri River, then follows the Missouri River to the mouth of the Platte River and then goes up the North bank of the Platte River to Highway 75,” said Krajewski.

Another contract for $183,000 to repair the Pierce – North Branch Elkhorn River Right Bank levee system in Pierce, Nebraska was awarded August 7. This system provides an increased level of flood risk management for over 550 structures and approximately 1,100 people.

“This is the first of the full rehabilitation projects to begin addressing damages to the smaller tributary systems throughout the Omaha District Area of Responsibility that were damaged during the March flooding, and we are anticipating that we will have 5-10 more of the tributary projects ready for award within the next two months to continue these repair efforts,” said Krajewski.

Omaha District levee status information is updated on their website at:

Eileen Williamson

Release no. 19-055